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Long Island requests for state business aid rise 30 percent

Members of the Long Island Regional Council receive

Members of the Long Island Regional Council receive $83 million during the Regional Economic Development Awards in Albany. (Dec. 11, 2013) Photo Credit: Skip Dickstein

Applications from Long Island for state business aid increased 30 percent this year compared with 2014, officials said yesterday.

Companies, local governments and not-for-profit organizations submitted 254 completed applications to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council by Friday's deadline. The council received 196 completed forms last year.

Applicants are competing this year for a portion of up to $105 million in aid expected to be awarded to Nassau and Suffolk counties in the annual statewide competition introduced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011.

The local council will now review each application and make recommendations to the 11 state agencies that are providing the funding by Sept. 21. To determine winners of the aid, the council can award up to 20 points on a 100-point scale, while the state agency has up to 80 points.

Winners will be announced in the fall by Cuomo. A total of up to $750 million in state tax credits and grants is available.

Last year, the Long Island council secured $82 million for 97 projects. It has been a big winner in three of the last four contests. Statewide, 3,770 completed applications were submitted for this year's competition, a 45 percent increase from 2014.

Rising interest in the Regional Economic Development Councils' contest follows a decline in applications in 2014 compared with 2013: 34 percent on Long Island and 6 percent statewide.

The largest number of completed applications in Nassau and Suffolk, 295, were received in both 2012 and 2013.

"We're seeing companies and projects take advantage of the region's assets and, based on the number of applications submitted this year, it is abundantly clear that the regional council approach is resonating on Long Island," said Cara Longworth, the local council's executive director.

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